Directed by Ciaran Cassidy and Produced by Fastnet Films, Jihad Jane tells the story of the most absurd terror cell ever to come together. It is the tale of two women who went looking for love online and became the “new face in the war on terror”. Capturing post 9/11 America, what emerges is a touching and haunting portrait of not only a damaged terror cell but the country and world that they emerged from.
Among the Film Fleadh’s 2019 European premieres, is the latest from director Gurinder Chadha, a first-generation coming-of-age story in Thatcherite Britain called Blinded by the Light. Returning to the Film Fleadh after twenty-five years, when she came to Galway with her first feature, Bhaji on the Beach, Ms. Chadha’s new film is a heart-warming and truly inspirational comedy based on the life of Sarfraz Manzoor, who co-wrote the script, about finding his own voice and his deep fandom for Bruce Springsteen. Actors like Hayley Atwell and Rob Brydon support a young, talented, multi-ethnic cast in a film full of energy, enthusiasm and music!
Also receiving their European premieres at Galway, are the American indie comedy-drama Adam and the slice-of-life drama Driveways, both produced by former CEO of Focus Features, James Schamus. Schamus will be in attendance to deliver the keynote address at the Fleadh Forum, the Film Fleadh’s dedicated state-of-the-industry discussion platform. He will also be the recipient of the Film Fleadh’s highest honour, the Galway Hooker Award for Outstanding Achievement.
An award-winning screenwriter (The Ice Storm ), producer (Brokeback Mountain ), and former CEO of Focus Features (Dallas Buyers Club, Lost in Translation, Milk, The Pianist ). His feature directorial debut, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Indignation, starring Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival, and was released by Roadside Attractions. Schamus’ New York based production company, Symbolic Exchange, produced Kitty Green’s acclaimed feature documentary Casting JonBenet which had its world premiere at Sundance and launched on Netflix in 2017, and Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn which premiered in Cannes 2017 and was released summer 2018 by A24. Recent projects include Rhys Ernst’s trans comedy Adam, starring Margaret Qualley; and Noble Jones’s The Tomorrow Man, starring John Lithgow and Blythe Danner. Both titles premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Symbolic premiered Andrew Ahn’s sophomore feature Driveways, starring Hong Chau and Brian Dennehy, at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival. Schamus is also Professor of Professional Practice in Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory.
The Galway Hooker Award will be presented to James Schamus at the Galway Film Fleadh’s closing night Awards Ceremony on Sunday 14th July at the Town Hall Theatre.
The full programme for the 2019 Galway Film Fleadh will be announced on Tuesday, June 25th in the Galmont Hotel, Galway